The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Virginia Rural Development office today announced it will invest $3.7 million in planning and construction projects critical to six rural Virginia localities’ water and sewer infrastructure.
“This announcement illustrates USDA Rural Development’s capacity to help rural localities traverse all phases involved in bringing better, safer utilities to their residents,” said Basil Gooden, Ph.D., Virginia State Director, USDA Rural Development. “From the planning phase to the construction phase, we are proud to help deliver needed infrastructure upgrades that are often out of reach financially for rural localities.”
The majority of funds announced today will go to the town of Glasgow, which plans to use a $951,000 loan and a $2.7 million grant to make needed improvements to its existing sewer system. The system experiences significant inflow and infiltration due to broken pipes, which during wet weather events creates a health hazard. This project will correct the health hazard and will replace or repair approximately 22,300 linear feet of sewer, 315 manholes, a monitoring system and a stand-by generator. The sewer system serves approximately 500 residential and 10 commercial connections.
Other funds announced are SEARCH grants or Predevelopment Planning Grants (PPG). These grants help rural communities with predevelopment feasibility studies, design assistance and technical assistance on proposed water and waste disposal projects. Information about each of those awards is below.
Big Stone Gap – $25,000 will be used to prepare preliminary engineering and environmental reports to evaluate needed improvements to the access road leading to the Big Cherry Reservoir. Security improvements will also be evaluated.
Kenbridge - $30,000 will be used to prepare preliminary engineering and environmental reports to evaluate the extension of public sewer to newly annexed areas in the southern part of town. Residents and businesses in this area are currently served by private septic systems, some of which are failing.
La Crosse - $20,000 will be used to prepare preliminary engineering and environmental reports to address needed improvements to the town’s existing water system, including repairs to the storage tank and distribution lines.
Pearisburg - $11,200 will be used to prepare preliminary engineering and environmental reports to evaluate alternatives for replacement of the existing chlorination/de-chlorination process at the town’s existing wastewater treatment plant.
Wythe County - $25,000 will be used to prepare Preliminary Engineering and Environmental Reports to evaluate the extension of public water to the Olive Branch, Atkins Mill and Rickey Roads areas.